One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Felicity Lott (soprano) (b.1947) - Voices of our time - Night and Day.
ĎLove Songs Round the Clockí
From the Théâtre Musical de Paris Ė Châtelet
Recorded 2002. Accompanied by Graham Johnson (piano)

Part 1
Interview with Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson
Graham PEEL (1877 -1937) The early morning
Maurice RAVEL (1875 -1937) Le réveil de la mariée
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Frühlingsmorgen
Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Chanson d'avril
Edmund NICK (1891 - 1974) Die Spröde
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Villanelle
Claude DEBUSSY (1862 -1918) L'ombre des arbres
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 -1958) Silent noon
Richard STRAUSS (1864 -1949) In goldner Fülle
John IRELAND (1879-1962) The Trellis
Frank BRIDGE (1879 -1941) Go not, happy day
Oscar STRAUSS (1870-1954) Warum soll eine Frau kein Verhältnis haben?
Part 2
Reynaldo HAHN (1874 -1947) L'heure exquise
Roger QUILTER (1877 -1953) Now sleeps the crimson petal
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Schone Fremde
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 -1897) Der Gang zum Liebchen
Erik SATIE (1866-1925) La diva de 1'Empire
Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Sure on this shining night
Gabriel FAURE (1845 -1924) Soir
Albert ROUSSEL (1869 -1937) Le bachelier de Salamanque
Maurice YVAIN (1891-1965) Je chante la nuit
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 -1921) Danse macabre
Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Heut' Nacht erhob' ich mich
Cole PORTER (1891 -1964) Night and day
GILBERT & SULLIVAN (1836 -1911) The sun has rays
André MESSAGER (1853 -1929) J'ai deux amants

This DVD opens with views of the Théâtre Châtelet at night. As I found out myself a few years back it is a mighty impressive building. The building owes its existence to the urban regeneration of medieval Paris initiated by Napoleon III and carried out under the supervision of Baron Haussmann. This replaced the network of narrow streets with the wide boulevards we know today. One such boulevard near líOpéra carries Haussmannís name. On it is situated one of the most popular and plush departmental stores, Galérie Lafayette. This store is famous for its glass dome as well as its merchandise. Incidentally, it also has a restaurant that provides the best value lunch in town!

The Théâtre Lyrique du Châtelet for smaller musical productions and recitals perfectly complements Charles Garnierís larger house. I found the acoustic in the Châtelet perfect for John Eliot Gardinerís semi-staged period instrument production of Verdiís Falstaff. The acoustic was warm yet clear. It facilitated words coming over clearly when well enunciated. This warmth and clarity are a great advantage in a recital such as the one found on this disc where the singerís diction and enunciation are first class. Of course on a DVD the listener can have the words on the screen. Far better though to be able to hear and follow the words themselves. With the inflexions and nuances clearly expressed here by Lottís voice the meaning of the words and the song are illuminated.

In 2002 Dame Felicity Lott was 55. It would be foolish to suggest that there are not signs of that age in close-ups during the recital. However, age has also filled and matured her voice with proliferate overtones. The light lyric voice of yesteryear is now capable of more colours and has significantly more body. Most importantly the singer has retained her steadiness and legato as she has added greater expression and meaning to her singing. Add to these vocal accomplishments the most adventurously eclectic lieder programme I think I have ever seen, and the outcome is a sure winner. There are no fewer than 24 different composers represented on the disc. Each song represents the hours in the day. Sometimes the hour and the song marry easily, but there are no false attempts when they donít. Some of the songs are quite short and there is narrative by Lott or her accompanist between each. The singer relates autobiographical details about her career and concerning her superbly idiomatic command of French; her German is comparable. Lott pays tribute to the influence and accompaniments of Graham Johnson. These are thoroughly justified too in respect of this disc where he supports, but never indulges, his singer. Johnson introduces several of the songs with illuminating comments as to origin etc. The very informative booklet gives more details about each song as well as biographical details on the participants.

Recently, Dame Felicity refuted a report in the UK Opera Magazine that she was shortly to retire from the operatic stage and restrict herself to lieder recitals such as this. Whist that might be mouth-watering for lieder enthusiasts opera would lose out. For Lottís voice and personality the two genres are mutually supportive. There are not many singers who have her ability in both fields. As far as her singing of such a varied song repertoire as found on this disc is concerned I cannot bring to mind another female singer to match her. Lovers of fine singing should not miss it.

Robert J Farr

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.